Most professionals (lawyers and accountants) conduct at least some of their fee-producing knowledge work on mobile devices, specifically, smartphones and tablets. Tablet and smartphone apps are a great way to connect to clients and reach out to prospective clients. By way of example, check out some of the mobile apps of Deloitte, PwC, and McKinsey on Google Play, and iPad apps from EY, Baker & McKenzie, and Allen & Overy. Firms can post news, advice and insight to their clients’ mobile devices. Likewise, some professional services firms are creating internal app stores to distribute apps that boost internal productivity. Several interesting questions arise, however, about which mobile operating system to support. Read further >
Vice President of Strategy & Competitive Intelligence
Wolters Kluwer Global Platform Organization
John Barker is Vice President of Strategy & Competitive Intelligence in Wolters Kluwer’s Global Platform Organization. In this role, John provides strategic direction for Wolters Kluwer’s global tax, legal, and regulatory content delivery platform, Global Atlas, and shares strategic product design best practices globally across Wolters Kluwer.
John has an extensive background in professional publishing, including as a Product Manager and Executive Legal Consultant at LexisNexis, a consultant, and award-winning Account Manager for Thomson Reuters. John has appeared as a keynote speaker at multiple Law Librarian Associations, and authored more than 50 articles discussing the application of technology to the practice of law. He has served as a Special Counsel for Technology at the Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller LLP, and had a clerkship to a U.S. Magistrate with the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
John holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, and a BA in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
Posts by John Barker
How should eBooks and eReaders evolve? Online tax, legal, and regulatory research services essentially were pioneered in the 1970′s. Print content lived alongside online research products. The focus was on migrating print products to online research services which today are expressed as Web-based products and, increasingly, tablet & smartphone apps. Read further >
LawInsider.com is a contract database and search engine that enables lawyers, financial analysts and business owners to search SEC filings to find contracts that can be used as model documents. My colleagues and I recently had the privilege of attending a webinar by LawInsider’s founder, attorney-entrepreneur Preston Clark. In essence, LawInsider.com makes it possible for lawyers to locate model documents by searching for them using full-text search and/or metadata search. Each user of LawInsider can increase the precision of searching for all end users by adding “tags” to the content that is retrieved. For example, an attorney who finds an excellent example of a “lock up agreement” can tag it – and everyone in the LawInsider community can browse to that document using “lock up agreement.” Even more beneficial would be if an attorney end-user adds more detailed words to “lock up agreement” for specifying its context, for example, “lock up agreement – buyer friendly.” Every end user in effect becomes part of the editorial team. Read further >
Recent developments around social media highlight the need for Wolters Kluwer to incorporate social media into its research products targeted at end users. Why? Social media are behaving more and more like primary and secondary sources of law. Consider the following developments: Read further >
Juxtapose the following two video interviews by Bloomgberg Law of two prominent thinkers about legal services: Bruce MacEwen about Weil Gotshal’s layoffs and Richard Susskind about the need for law firms to make radical changes. Bruce is the publisher of the blog Adam Smith Esq. and Richard is the author of the book Tomorrow’s Lawyers. While neither interview mentions publishers of professional content, I think that they evoke questions about new opportunities for law firms and publishers to partner. Read further >
I’ve had the privilege of leading several innovation tournaments at various businesses of Wolters Kluwer in several countries. I’ve also had the privilege of being a participant in several of them. Recently I participated in an innovation tournament sponsored by Wolters Kluwer Law and Business in our headquarters in Alphen aan den Rijn in the Netherlands. Several Wolters Kluwer customers, including law firms, corporate legal departments and law schools, participated in the tournament. We jointly came up with new ideas for Wolters Kluwer to help them provide more value to their professional clients. At the end of the day, there was a panel discussion in which all of the employees from Wolters Kluwer who were present could pose questions to the customers. I posed the question about whether any of the law firms would be interested in holding an innovation tournament jointly with their corporate legal clients. I also suggested that Wolters Kluwer might participate, given that it is part of the legal value chain for delivering services to clients. The law firms liked the idea. Read further >
Information services providers such as Wolters Kluwer have been creating mobile apps for tax, legal and regulatory professionals for several years. Some apps migrate traditional print products to apps, such as the WK eReader, whereas others, such as IntelliConnect Mobile and CCH Mobile, are “mobile first.” Another type of app is emerging. Wolters Kluwer’s customers – tax, legal & regulatory professional services firms – increasingly are creating apps for their clients. How might Wolters Kluwer’s content be integrated into those apps? Read further >
Google Docs and Gmail have always been in the cloud. Microsoft has followed more of a hybrid model. Both are interested in generating revenue from highly targeted advertising. Microsoft and Google have invested money and brain power into creating algorithms that target advertisements to end users. The algorithms increase the precision of the targeted advertising by becoming aware of end users’ interests. Algorithms attribute interests to end users based on their search terms, the contents of their electronic communications, demographic information and the contents of their word-processing documents. If you have a Gmail account, you probably have experienced Google’s contextual targeting, based on keywords in Gmail messages. Other insights for these thoughts come from patents and patent applications, including the following: Read further >
For professionals consumers of tax, legal and regulatory content, I believe that both search alerts and editorially authored news are important sources of current awareness. Think of a Venn diagram in which current awareness results from search alerts appear in one circle and results from editorially created news appear in the other. There is a convergence, specifically, new content that would be identified by both search alerts and by editorially authored news. But there would also be coverage unique to each. Read further >
I’ve always admired how private publishers made it possible for professionals to access tax, legal and regulatory content. Their role was primarily aggregation and distribution through print. But they also curated. Looseleaf publishing, which required editorial expertise, made it possible to reconcile topically published content with chronologically published updates, all under a single topical classification scheme relevant to a specific area of law. Publishers made a choice as to how to organize content in looseleafs as well what to include and exclude, based on a deep understanding of professional customers’ needs. Technology later made it possible to digitize hardbound & looseleaf print volumes, thus making it accessible through full-text & fielded-metadata search. Read further >